Broward man charged with wanting family killed now faces animal cruelty charge, too

08/15/2013 7:54 PM

08/15/2013 9:07 PM

As if three counts of solicitation for first-degree murder, one for child abuse and one for having bomb-making material wasn’t enough, now Jason Dennis Simione is accused of beating his dog.

Simione, 39, of Dania Beach, was back in bond court on Thursday after the Broward Sheriff’s Office added a new charge of felony animal abuse to the case that has him locked up in lieu of $5 million bail.

Simione, 5-foot-8, 252 pounds, is accused of hitting Titan, a black, 4-year-old Cane Corso/Italian mastiff over the head with a two-by-four on an unspecified date. Such a dog would weigh at least 110 pounds.

Police say that Simione’s estranged wife, Megumi “May’’ Simione, and several of his employees at Bulldog Tactical Equipment — the same people whose accusations led to Simione’s arrest Monday on the other charges — told them they’d seen Simione “beating the dog numerous times,’’ and once “repeatedly punching the dog in the face, causing the dog to sustain bloodshot eyes.’’

On a separate occasion, again undated in the complaint, May Simione said she saw her husband beat the dog with a two-by-four, “causing intense pain.’’ She said he would not allow her to take the dog to a vet.

After his arrest, Simione told police that he did once beat Titan to protect a smaller dog in the house.

Lisa Mendheim, a spokeswoman for Broward County Animal Care and Adoption, said that police brought Titan to the shelter after the arrest, and that he was released to May Simione on Thursday.

Mendheim said the dog had no wounds or scars.

Simione’s divorce lawyer, Susan Brown of Plantation, said that all the charges stem from her client’s nasty divorce from a woman who signed away her rights to Jason Simione’s money in a prenuptial agreement.

They have a 9-month-old, Jett, whom his father allegedly threw onto a table days before the arrest during a fight with an employee, causing minor bruises. That alleged incident is the basis of the child abuse charge.

“This is a family court case run amok,’’ said Brown.

Bulldog Tactical sells weapons and accessories to the military. Simione started the company about four years ago after serving 15 years with Hollywood Fire Rescue. An employee told BSO Simione approached him, offering $150,000, to arrange to hire a hit man from El Salvador to kill May Simione, her mother, brother and their baby boy.

When police arrived at his home to arrest him Monday, they found a huge cache of arms and ammunition, plus bomb-making supplies.

Friends and colleagues say Simione was a “prepper,” someone who believed the government might fall if attacked, and he wanted to be prepared. He turned his Dania Beach home into a safe house for family and friends.

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